Ep. 122: Padre Island National Seashore | Texas RV travel camping


So hey, we just rolled into Padre Island, right off the shore of Corpus Christi, and I’ll tell you something: if you
wander around Texas campgrounds long enough, you almost have to run into these
guys. Look who we bumped into! We’ve known Tom and Stacie Langland,
better known to the RV community as RV Texas Y’all, electronically for a couple
of years. But this campground on Padre Island marks the first place that we’ve
ever met in person. Fans of their popular YouTube channel, website, and social media
will appreciate knowing that they are every bit as endearing in person as they
are in front of the camera. What you see on the screen is precisely what you get
in person. We’re going to share all sorts of sights and sounds across Padre Island
and its namesake National Seashore in this episode, the way that we usually do,
but we first want to introduce RV Texas Y’all to our Grand Adventurers. So look
who we ran into! We’re here in Corpus Christi on Padre
Island, just north of the National Seashore, and we are actually camping
with RV Texas Y’all. Some of you folks may be familiar with their channel … I’m
sure most of you folks are familiar with their channel … but for those who aren’t.
Tom and Stacie, tell us all about RV Texas Y’all!
Yeah, so we’re Tom and Stacie Langland and we have RV Texas Y’all here on YouTube,
and we also have the website RVTexasYall.com. On our channel we do a variety
of things. We do our travel vlogs, both… mostly in Texas, but sometimes beyond the
state line. Lately we had a two- month trip up to the Dakotas and
Yellowstone, and all of that. Took Stacie’s mom along, Grammy Kay. That was fun.
She was the star of the show! There’s no doubt. She’s not shy by any
stretch of the imagination. And so you know, when we’re in Texas we focus a lot
on campgrounds, things like state parks and, and, you know, a few RV parks but
mostly more natural areas. And then we also have our website, we do …
it’s basically like a resource for folks who might be traveling in Texas:
festivals and fun things to do, places you can stay with your RV, tips and that
type of stuff.
And it was very helpful to us and our planning for this trip down
through Texas, so thank you very much! Well, thank you!
How did you guys find the camping to be different on this two-month trip that you just took, as
opposed to your usual stomping grounds in Texas? Yeah, well, it was a lot
different because most of the places we camped it was boondocking. You know,
and in Texas most even the state parks and stuff that we go in have some kind
of hookups. So I didn’t ever envision that being my main form of
camping. Like you, I mean, boodocking I know, it’s 90% what you do if not more.
But I loved it, we loved it. We’ve realized it’s so much easier. I mean,
you pull in, you get level, you put out the slides, you’re ready to go.
And then when you’re ready to leave, I mean, you put in the slides and you go. I
mean, you don’t have to worry about hooking up and unhooking, and I really liked
the management of my black tanks and stuff, the tanks and the fresh water
every day. And the batteries. I mean, that was,
it added a new dimension for us
In fact, it was funny because we did a better
part of a month where we did nothing but dry camping,
and at the end of that when we stayed in an RV park and we had electric, we almost
forgot to unplug. Oh yeah!
You know it’s like I was doing
my final check of everything and we’re ready to go and I went, “Wait! It’s plugged in!”
I mean it’s, it’s interesting how you just can get in these routines especially when
you’re full-timing, or long-timing like y’all do a lot of, and because if you do
something for a long period of time and then all of a sudden you change for a
few days, it’s like, whoa! Got to double check everything again. That’s a tip out
there you know, y’all always go through your checklist!
You know, because you never, I mean it’s real easy to get out of the routine
when you change that routine for two or three weeks.
We’ve experienced the opposite on that because we’re so used to boondocking that
we’re not used to dealing with the hookups, and hooking up our sewer hose,
and remembering, “Alright, I need to close the grey valve tonight when I
shower so that way I’ve got some flush water for the hose when I dump the black
in the morning before we leave.” Right.
For you guys it’s a little bit
different because you’re traveling in a Tiffin Class A, as opposed to us, of course
we’re working with a travel trailer. Right. And we went with the smallest diesel
pusher we could find because we still wanted to camp in National Parks and
things like that, and have the maximum number of options. So we’re actually 31
and a half feet, it’s a Tiffin Breeze and so yes, it’s a diesel pusher but we’re
kind of a baby diesel pusher. It’s a beautiful rig it really is.
I’ve got to tell you guys, if you haven’t yet checked out their channel make sure
that you do so, because their personality comes through in their videos better
than just about any RV travelers that I’ve ever met. And I’m telling you,
these folks in person are exactly the same people you see on YouTube.
But so is Marc! We’ve really enjoyed this time with you guys. We really looked forward to this, when
we knew that they were coming to Texas, we were so excited with that we
have to find a way meet up with you guys! And it’s been such
a pleasure. You folks are witnesses that Mrs.
Grand Adventure really does exist!
She does! She definitely exists. I think Marc
outpunted as coverage on that!
We’re going to show you around Padre Island and
Padre Island National Seashore so come along. So once again our plans to boondock
right on the beach have been thwarted by the South Texas heat. It is hotter than
hell this week.This is right back here, that’s actually the start of the
sand road and you’re allowed to camp right on the beach, but it’s been so hot
Actually, Tom and Stacie got here a day before we did and went into the
Malaquite Campground, which is a dry campground within the Padre Island
National Seashore. They said they were OK till about
midnight. Problem is the breeze shut off, the overnight lows have been right
around 80, and it’s just not cooling down. So we are back in a campground with
electrical and water. We are actually in the Padre Balli County Park. Now, we told
you last week in the episode from South Padre Island, we told you about Padre
Balli. He was the first western settler in this
area, where he opened up a cattle ranch on these islands. But for now we’re
hanging out in the county park. It’s not the most attractive campground in the
world, I’ll be the first person to admit that, but like they say in real estate
it’s all about three things: location, location, and
location, and this location could not be any better. We’re paying 25 bucks a night
until things cool off. Now we are hopeful that there’s a cold front coming in
around Friday in a few days, that we’ll be able to move to boondocking on the
beach and do so with comfort, and we are really excited about bringing you guys
there. We’re really excited about bringing ourselves there! So we’re hoping
it works out, but in the meantime we’re going to show you all around the Padre
Island National Seashore, the surrounding towns of Port Aransas and Corpus Christi,
and we’ll get the most that we can out of this area. In contrast to South Padre Island from
our last episode, known for its beaches and vacationing college students, Padre
Island National Seashore is comprised of 65 miles of undeveloped barrier island
seacoast on North Padre Island — the longest
preserved barrier island coastline in the world. Most of the park is primitive,
accessible only to four-wheel drive vehicles managed by the National Park
Service. Padre Island National Seashore hosts a variety of pristine beaches,
dunes, and tidal flats. It’s home to world-class bird-watching, kayaking and
camping. Although there are dry campgrounds adjacent to the Malaquite
Visitor Center and at Bird Island Basin, dispersed boondocking is permitted along
nearly all of the Gulf Beach. Just north of our campground, a small
bridge connects Padre Island to Mustang Island, home to the town of Port Aransas —
the only established town on the island, and a popular home for Gulf Coast
pirates in the early 19th century. Local lore tells of pirate treasure buried in
Port Aransas, supposedly marked by a Spanish silver dagger. Herds of wild
horses rambled over plush range lands of the island when British Captain Robert
Ainsworth Mercer established a sheep and cattle ranch here in the 1850s, lending
their name to the island. Port Aransas is still recovering from
major damage as a result of the landfall of Hurricane Harvey in August 2017, with
wind speeds of 132 miles per hour. With over 325,000 residents, nearby
Corpus Christi is the eighth largest city in Texas, and boasts a beautiful bayfront location. The city has one of the highest average wind speeds of coastal
cities in North America, making the city an important destination for wind
sports such as kite boarding, windsurfing, kite flying and sailing. The city is home
to a number of popular tourist attractions, particularly on North Beach
where the Texas State Aquarium and the USS Lexington Museum on the Bay are
located. Returning to our campsite after
exploring the area, we’re opting to stop for dinner at
Snoopy’s Pier, a landmark casual seafood restaurant right on the Gulf
Intracoastal Waterway adjacent to the John F Kennedy causeway that connects
Padre Island to the mainland. So we did it! The front came through, dropped
the temperature 20 degrees and we are camping right on the beach! This is
amazing! You know, this is the reason we came to
the Texas coast was to be able to do this, and the heat was keeping us from
doing it. Now we’re back to what we love: boondocking. We’re on North Beach within
the Padre Island National Seashore. You’re allowed to dispersed camp here
along the beach for up to 14 days per stay, and no more than 28 days in one
calendar year. It’s essential to keep an eye on the winds, the surf, and especially
the tides, but virtually any size rig can get out here because the sand below the
waterline is really surprisingly firm. It’s not much different than driving on
a dirt road, and we didn’t have to air down our tires or even switch to
four-wheel-drive to be able to drive or tow on the beach. Now before folks start flooding us with
comments about flying our drone on a National Seashore, we made this flight
completely legal by taking off from, and landing back on, land actually outside of
the boundary of what’s managed by the National Park Service. So this is
absolutely spectacular! Camping right on the beach
within the Padre Island National Seashore. Now just to make things a
little extra exciting, the National Weather Service overnight issued a
Coastal Flood Advisory. Apparently with the winds we’ve been experiencing behind
this cold front, and the unusually high astronomical high tides, actually
overnight we did have the waves lap underneath the trailer a little bit, and
it’s going to be a little bit higher at this afternoon’s high tide. We’re going to
see how this goes. Everything is just a Grand Adventure when you’re out here on
the road.
On the opposite side of Padre Island from our camp at North Beach,
Laguna Madre — which separates the island from the mainland — is an ideal place to
enjoy water sports including windsurfing and kayaking. With Gulf of Mexico waves
exceeding six feet during our visit, launching our kayak from camp is out of
the question, but over here the waters of Laguna Madre are placid and surprisingly
shallow. Salt marshes provide fascinating places to paddle and explore. There’s a
boat ramp for larger vessels, and a dry National Park Service campground that
can accommodate the largest rigs for $8 per night. Folks here truly take their fishing
seriously.
Very seriously. So I did my best to reinforce everything.
and stack some sand up against our blocks to make sure that it was a little
more resistant to the erosion. If you can see where the water came up, it actually
stayed further back from the trailer than last night. It just got one little
tongue of one wave kind of came up under the chair, and that was about it.
You can see the water line just barely, barely stayed away from the trailer. So we really hope that you’ve enjoyed
coming along with us to Padre Island National Seashore! This has been one of
the highlights of our trip through Texas. Next up we’re going to be heading for
Rockport, Texas, but in the meantime, next week we’re going to spend an episode
sharing with you these little wireless battery-powered security cameras that we
mounted on the rig for this trip. We’re sure you’re going to find that
interesting, so if you’re not yet a Grand Adventurer make sure you hit that little
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nothing but a Grand Adventure! We’ll see you then.

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